Chronic pain is a global problem. It is estimated that nearly 20% of adults suffer from pain globally and that another 10% are diagnosed with chronic pain every year, accounting for 15%–20% of physician visits worldwide. In the US alone, chronic pain is estimated to affect over 100 million people and pain-associated annual costs are estimated to range from $560 to $635 billion, which includes the cost of medication and doctor visits, as well as loss of productivity in work, and disability assistance1. When compounded with the opioid epidemic, this becomes a public health crisis. It is evident that there needs to be a better approach to pain management and monitoring, including for those who experience chronic pain as a symptom of a variety of conditions, such as migraine, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, arthritis, sports injuries, etc.
Not all pain management requires medication and there is rising evidence that non-pharmacological approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and digital therapeutics (e.g. Virtual Reality) can provide symptomatic relief for chronic pain sufferers. Hence, Novartis is looking to reimagine pain management through novel, innovative solutions. We are looking for digital solutions that can:
1. Objectively assess and measure pain severity
2. Measure the health economic (HEOR) impact of pain
3. Treat pain effectively – either as a condition in its’ own right, or as a symptom of other conditions, such as migraine, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, arthritis etc.